In the ensuing years since the release of Avatar—the highest grossing film of all time—we’ve been privy to plenty of “updates” on the status of the sequels from folks tied to the production, and director James Cameron has now offered up yet another. As Fox has now finally set December 2016, 2017, and 2018 release dates for the three upcoming Avatar sequels, this update comes backed by the fact that the films are really, truly, actually coming, and Cameron seems to be in a solid place with regards to planning. The filmmaker says they’re developing the software while he works on the scripts and designs all the new creatures and environments, and he added that he hasn’t decided whether he will shoot all or just some of the film in High Frame Rate like Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. Hit the jump to read on.
“We’re still in the early stages. Right now we’re developing the software. I’m writing the scripts. We’re designing all the creatures and characters and the settings, and so on. So, I’m not actually directing yet, but I’m doing all the other creative processes that lead up to that… It’s going very well. I think it’s going to be spectacular. You’ll see new worlds, new habitats, new cultures. The primary conflict between the human view kind of dominating nature and the Na’vi view of being integrated into nature is the same, but it manifests itself in very different ways.”
On a more technical note, the filmmaker talked briefly about how he’ll approach the shooting of the pic:
“[We’re] looking at high frame rate. I’m studying that. I haven’t made a final decision yet, whether the entire film will be made at high frame rate or parts of it. You know, we’ll be shooting at a native resolution of probably 4K and so then there should be a lot of true 4K theaters by then as well.”
“That’s the great thing about Avatar, it’s such a rich world, I can explore any theme or any idea that I want. Once you’ve got the characters that an audience loves, it’s great to surprise them and make changes and turns that they don’t expect. And you don’t have to spend so much time of the movie setting up all that stuff, because the audience will remember from the previous film.”
So far, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Stephen Lang are signed on to reprise their roles from the first film in all three sequels, which are poised to hit theaters in December 2016, December 2017, and December 2018. Production on all three films will begin later this year.